#IMWAYR – Sept 5, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.


I love September. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, but there’s something so refreshing and invigorating about the coming of fall. The crisp air, the changing colours (the endless, endless rain….) that makes me think of fresh starts and new beginnings.

This week I shared a few books, as well as some other (hopefully) interesting bits and pieces.


I wrote about one of my favourite local bookstores, the fantastic Russell Books in Victoria, B.C. This institution is the largest new and used bookstore in Canada, and its beautiful, well-organized shelves are what book blogger dreams are made of.


I shared the exciting news that the #diversekidslit book sharing meme is now on Pinterest! Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for exciting and inspiring books and information.

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I participated in another edition of Nonfiction Wednesday with a beautifully-photographed title that introduces children to food production, and helps develop a generation of informed, healthy consumers.

Over on The Book Wars I wrapped up Australia month with the charming rhyming picture book Edward the Emu. It’s a “the grass is always greener” story with a twist, and how often do you get to read about an emu, anyway?


Finally, I continued my Reading Staycation series with a Audrey (cow), the charming story of a plucky cow’s bid for freedom.

All in all, a pretty good reading week! 🙂

I hope everyone is having a safe and happy long weekend!


Audrey (Cow) – A Reading Staycation

As part of my Reading Staycation project we’re looking at children’s books from B.C.-based authors/illustrators, and I’ve got another great title to share with you today. Who knew that my home province was also home to so many talented creators?!

Audrey (Cow) by Dan Bar-el is the funny, heartfelt story of a plucky cow and her bid for freedom. Audrey dreams of a life beyond her home in Bittersweet Farms, and when a fellow inhabitant warns her that she is headed for the slaughterhouse, Audrey decides that she has no choice but to mount a daring escape from the farm and set out on her own.


The story of a farm animal longing for freedom is nothing new – we’ve had Wilbur, Babe, even Ivan the gorilla. What makes Audrey (Cow) so engaging is the way the story is framed. Audrey’s story is recounted by over thirty different narrative voices , who tell the story “to the camera”, as if participating in a documentary. This variety of narrators allows for some engaging changes in perspective and perception, and provides great moments of heart and humour.


Tatjana Mai-Wyss’ charming, elegant pencil illustrations complement the poetic text beautifully, creating an almost nostalgic atmosphere.

I’m not the only person who enjoyed Audrey (Cow) – it’s been nominated or shortlisted for a number of awards, including the:

  • Governor General’s Award
  • Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Red Cedar Book Award
  • Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award
  • Maine Student Book Award

It also received a bunch of starred reviews from the likes of Kirkus, School Library Journal and Quill & Quire.

Dan Bar-el is a Vancouver-based award-winning children’s book writer, educator, storyteller and educator who has worked as a preschool teacher, actor, playwright and comedian. You can find more about him on his website, and check out this interview with him on The Book Wars.